If you put a pin in the map two kilometres north of San Marino (the world's smallest republic) it would probably land on San Valentino. And while tax havens are all very well, it's the constant breeze off the sea that makes more difference to the wines here. With no rot to worry about Roberto Mascarin can afford to pick late, relying on the chill nights to retain acidity. Viticulture is meticulous (a sort of 'bio-lite', using the biodynamic calendar but no animal products) and the winemaking ultra-modern. Much is done in Stainelss steel and Luca d’Attoma keeps a watchful eye on operations.
Not only are these wines delicious, they are also exceptional value. The Rubicone Sangiovese is bursting with red fruit and is sourced largely from his neighbours’ vineyards. This is a must buy house red. The Sangiovese di Romagna Bacaia kicks things up a gear with genuine concentration and flavours of black cherry, blueberry, damp earth, and sweet spice. The Grechetto (here called Rebola to avoid confusion with the Pignoletto DOC) is actually Grechetto di Todi – vastly superior to that found in most of Umbria. With ten months on lees this combines a lovely waxiness with stone fruit and considerable heft. Grechetto di Todi rocks – you heard it here first.
Rubicone Sangiovese IGT
Romagna Sangiovese Superiore DOP 'Bacaia' - organic
Colli di Rimini Rebola DOP 'Bacaia'